Greta Thunberg had already ruled out a meeting with Donald Trump before her trip to North America as a "waste of time". When they met each other accidentally in New York at the United Nations, the icy reaction of the Swedish climate fighter caused a viral moment. Now her trip is almost over – and the Swede has sent some farewell words to the US president.
With his sometimes drastically voiced doubts about climate change, according to Thunberg, this may have achieved exactly the opposite of what he wants to achieve. "He's so extreme and he's saying such extreme things that I think people have, in a sense, woken up," she said in Hampton, Virginia. The 16-year-old wants to take the return journey to Europe from the US East Coast town on Wednesday (local time) on a sailing ship.
"When he was elected, I told myself that people are going to wake up now, that people have to wake up," Thunberg continued. "So maybe he helped." Thunberg has caused a sensation since the start of its "Fridays for Future" climate strike movement about a year ago. Meanwhile, the 16-year-old has become a global icon in the fight against climate change and has mobilized millions of people worldwide.
The Swede refuses to board a plane for reasons of climate protection. That's why she boarded a sailboat at the end of August to sail from New South Plymouth to New York, where she attended the United Nations Climate Summit in September. Then she traveled by train and with an electric car borrowed by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger through the US and Canada.
Journey should go to Chile – but then the conference ended
The goal of Thunberg's long journey was actually the Chilean capital Santiago, where from December 2nd to 13th the next UN climate conference should take place. After the rejection of Chile because of the local social protests, the meeting is now scheduled for the same date in Madrid – Thunberg was looking for a return opportunity to Europe via the Internet.
The call for help from the 16-year-old was answered by an Australian couple: Elayna Carausu and Riley Whitelum live with their eleven-month-old son on a 14-meter-long catamaran. With this they want to bring Thunberg and her father to Europe. It will start on Wednesday morning in Hampton.